Danny Hrbek (Radford) [Photo credit: Broken Bat Blog]
Led by a no-hitter from a former Dutchmen player, the first week of March was another stellar one for Albany alumni across the country.
NCAA Division I
Danny Hrbek, Radford- In just the third start of his collegiate career, Hrbek threw a no hitter on Saturday against Quinnipiac. The senior, who played for the Dutchmen in 2014, struck out eight hitters and did not walk any. The only batter to reach base against Hrbek came on a throwing error in the third inning. It was the first nine-inning no-hitter in Radford history, and the first no-no of any kind since 1995. Hrbek needed only 88 pitches to accomplish his feat, which was the fourth no hitter in Division I baseball this season. In addition to his pitching exploits, Hrbek reached base once for the Highlanders, hitting second in the order.
Danny Crowe, Elon- Crowe, a pitcher from the 2013 Dutchmen, has been Elon's top relief pitcher in the first 12 games of 2017. In three appearances this past week, Crowe tossed six shutout innings, and picked up both a win and a save. Crowe was the winning pitcher in Elon's 4-3 win over UMass on Friday, pitching 2.1 frames with four strikeouts. He also got the final five outs in a 5-1 win for the Phoenix on Sunday. In his first ten innings of the season, Crowe has allowed just one run, and has struck out ten hitters.
JJ Shimko, USC-Upstate- Shimko has started the 2017 season on a 13-game hitting streak, a streak that includes six games this past week. The outfielder, the 2016 Dutchmen co-Player of the Year, had ten hits in the six games, led by a 3-for-4 performance on Saturday against Pittsburgh. All three hits were doubles, with Shimko driving in three runs and scoring another two. Through 13 games, Shimko currently leads the Spartans in hits, doubles, RBIs, total bases, and walks.
Austin Goeke, Wagner- Wagner's Opening Day starter threw his second consecutive quality start, shutting out Towson for six innings on Friday. On the road, the senior allowed just three hits, and struck out six Towson batters. Despite leaving the game with the lead, Goeke took a no decision when Towson rallied for a 3-2 win. Goeke, who wore the Dutchmen uniform in 2014, has not allowed an earned run in his first 11.2 innings of work this season, and has only given up five hits.
Austin Foote, Indiana- The lefthander has had a stellar start to his 2017 season, as he has not allowed a run in 3.2 innings for the Hoosiers. He pitched twice for Indiana this past week, tossing 2.2 frames of scoreless work. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Indiana's game with Cincinnati, and got five outs in a loss to Samford on Sunday. The junior pitched in Albany during the 2014 season.
Michael Bollmer, No. 6 Louisville- Bollmer, who flashed his power as a member of the 2015 Dutchmen, recorded a career milestone on Wednesday in Louisville's 20-2 victory over Morehead State. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the senior launched a three-run homer, the first of his collegiate career. The longball completed the scoring for the seventh-ranked Cardinals. Both of Bollmer's hits this season for undefeated Louisville have been of the extra base variety.
Dylan D'Anna, Siena- D'Anna pitched in both of Siena's victories this week, as the Saints took two of three on the road against Murray State. The 2016 Dutchmen pitcher tossed the final inning in both wins over the Racers, and picked up the save in the decisive third game, a 9-8 win for the Saints. D'Anna did not allow a baserunner in either inning, as Siena earned their first series victory of the young season.
NCAA Division II
Sean Aspinall, No. 17 Azusa Pacific- The two-time Dutchmen star and former PGCBL All-Star drove in six runs over three victories for Azusa Pacific, hitting 6-for-13 in a 3-0 effort at the Tucson Invitational. His best performance came on Saturday, when Azusa Pacific topped perrenial powerhouse St. Cloud State, 13-3. Aspinall went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, coming on a two-run single and an RBI double. The senior has become a major part of APU's early season success, hitting .361 with 14 runs batted in.
Justin Childers, Ohio Dominican- ODU played just one game this week, but Childers made the most of it. The 2016 Dutchmen co-Player of the Year went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and five RBIs in a 15-11 win over Urbana. The center fielder drove in the five runs on three run-scoring singles and a two-run double. He also added another double. In Ohio Dominican's 4-0 start, Childers is 11-for-15, good for a .733 batting average. He has driven in ten runs already, and has scored another nine.
Mychael Goudreau, No. 17 Azusa Pacific- Goudreau keyed a 30-run output for the Cougars at the Tucson Invitational, where APU went 3-0 to push their record to 13-1. The 2016 Dutchmen infielder had at least two hits in all three games of the invitational, going 7-for-12 at the top of the Azusa order. He scored four runs, three of which came in the first victory, a 14-6 triumph over Concordia-St. Paul. The leadoff hitter currently leads the nationally ranked Cougars with 24 hits.
Mitch Stophel, King University- A pitcher from the 2015 Dutchmen, Stophel has proven himself to be one of the top relief pitchers for the Tornado. Despite a 4-3 loss to Emmanuel, Stophel gave King a chance to win with 2.1 scoreless innings on the mound. He logged three strikeouts, and onlu allowed one hit and a lone walk. Stophel has made five appearances of two innings or more this season for King, and has not allowed a run in four of those five outings.
Andrew Giddens, Ave Maria- Giddens made a pair of appearances for the Gyrenes, striking out five hitters over three innings on the mound. On Monday, Giddens tossed two scoreless frames against the No. 3 team in the nation, St. Thomas University. The righthander, who pitched for the Dutchmen during the summer of 2015, only allowed one hit despite the Gyrenes falling. He also helped Ave Maria to a victory on Sunday, getting his team out of a bases loaded jam with a strikeout in a 9-6 win over the University of Saint Francis.